VIDEO: Portchester poet gets the thumbs up from the Queen after birthday poem
A 63-YEAR-OLD woman who wrote a poem to the Queen for her 90th birthday is feeling '˜over the moon' after she received a personal card in return from Britain's long-standing monarch.
Jo Gander, from Bayly Avenue, Portchester, has a special mail delivery earlier this month after she saw a royal envelope from Her Royal Highness.
Jo, a lifelong poet, scripted her piece titled ‘Happy 90th Birthday’ ahead of the Queen’s birthday on April 21.
She had previously written a poem ahead of the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 but had not got a response, so the poet was left awestruck at receiving the personal card at the second attempt.
Jo said: ‘I got so excited after seeing it. She must get thousands of cards everyday but I’m not so sure about poems so maybe that made a difference!’
‘I do think she might have had the time to read it and I felt really over the moon to get a response from her.
‘There really is no monarch in the world that is quite like her in the way she engages with her people. I do not think anyone could say anything bad about her.
‘She’s just so lovely.’
Jo decided to try to catch the monarch’s attention once again due to her sheer admiration for the head of the Commonwealth.
Jo added that she could not remember a time when she was not writing poetry.
Her love of the practice sees her meet up with poetry group the WordWrights at Titchfield Community Centre every two weeks where she reads her own poetry and listens to fellow poets.
The card Jo received from Her Highness reads: ‘I send you my grateful thanks for the kind words you have sent to me on the occasion of my 90th birthday.’
She also got a note from the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting which reads: ‘Dear Mrs Gander, The Queen wishes me to thank you for your letter.
‘The Queen is most grateful for your kind words, and greatly appreciates the time and care you have taken to compose your verse especially for Her Majesty.’
On what Jo will do with the card, she added: ‘I’ll hold on to it forever.
‘I’ll probably lock it up!’